‘Definitely a play worth seeing’: BLUEBERRY TOAST – Soho Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Soho Theatre – until 30 June 2018
Guest reviewer: Anonymous

We open on a stereotypical, modern American kitchen where wife Barb (Gala Gordon) is busying herself. When her husband Walt (Gareth David-Lloyd) comes down for breakfast, she attempts to make him something extra special: blueberry toast. Walt refuses the dish, insisting that he never asked for it and that what he really wanted was blueberry pancakes.

As the play proceeds, Barb attempts to remake the dish to Walt’s satisfaction. However, she keeps coming back with the same dish she initially made. Whatever tensions have existed within this couple’s relationship until now are about to explode to the surface. Interspersed between the couple’s tense scenes together, their two children Jack (Matt Barkley) and Jill (Adrianna Bertola) interrupt them. They perform four different acts of a dance musical which they’ve created.

Blueberry Toast is a dark comedy which is similar in style to the work of Christopher Durang. It explores the roles that people are expected to play within a typical American family and how those roles can lead to lack of proper human connection.

All the actors are excellent. David-Lloyd does an excellent job as Walt, a frustrated middle school teacher of poetry who feels he may have run out of time to pursue his true calling in the oil business (the play is set in Texas). Gordon does very well to portray someone who feels imprisoned by the demands of having to pretend to be the perfect housewife. We can see her despair flickering beneath the surface until the violence which she can barely suppress any longer starts to manifest itself. As Jack and Jill, Bertola and Barkley give much need light comic relief to the play.

Mary Laws’ Blueberry Toast is definitely a play worth seeing. It says a lot about contemporary American society in the age of Trump. The last image alone, of a smiling teenage boy sitting down smiling whilst holding a handgun, is particularly poignant.

Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.